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Victrex says meeting guidance could be tough after "soft" Q1

08:22, 9th February 2024
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(Sharecast News) - Polymers group Victrex (VCT) Follow | VCT has announced a "soft start" in its first quarter as a result of continued end-market weakness and tough comparatives with the prior year, and said that making full-year guidance could be tricky.
The company, which producers metal replacements and plastics for industrial applications, as well as things like pipes, films and tapes, said revenues in the three months to 31 December were down 22% year-on-year at £61.2m, with volumes falling 21% to 751 tonnes.

The company said the downturn in the first quarter was in line with the wider chemicals sector, with chief executive Jakob Sigurdsson noting "signs of monthly run-rate improvement" in the second quarter.

"January trading was solid and ended slightly ahead of the prior year comparative. However, we are mindful of the soft start and limited visibility of an uptick in several end-markets," Sigurdsson said.

First-half revenues and profits are expected to be lower than the previous year, and making full-year guidance - for "progress" in both revenues and pre-tax profit from £307m and £72.5m in the 12 months to 30 September, respectively - is now reliance on a macro recovery in the second half.

"The opportunity to deliver year-on-year progress remains. However, a continuation of the current macro-economic conditions makes achieving a profit growth outcome for the year more challenging and requires a further step up in run rates for the remainder of FY 2024. We continue to tightly manage controllable expenses, to support our performance," Sigurdsson said.

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